John Jacobson is the Audio Recording Technology Professor at CSN. He has led this program since joining CSN in 1999, and has overseen the ongoing developments that have made the facilities and curricula at CSN comparable to those of top-level similar colleges. Prior to beginning at CSN, he worked at UNLV as an engineer, operated his own archival and forensic audio business, and was co-owner of one of Las Vegas’ premier recording studios, Oakdale Post Audio. John has been involved in every aspect of the recording studio business, and as an engineer has worked with clients and artists like Phil Ramone, IBM, Motown and Capitol Records, Martin Scorsese (“Casino” and “A Personal Journey with Martin Scorsese Through American Movies”), Station Casinos, Penn Jillette (Comedy Central), Steve Cropper, Ceasars Palace, Kenny Rogers, and many others. John is also a professional musician, in recent years playing for shows such as “Phantom–The Las Vegas Spectacular,” “Spamalot,” “Mama Mia” and “Hairspray,” playing for a church on an ongoing basis, and various other work. He is also a composer and arranger, and loves playing with the “toys” at the CSN Recording Studio! He is a member of the Audio Engineering Society (AES) and the Musicians Union of Las Vegas.
Claude Achille started his career as a Recording Engineer in NYC in the 80s, first working at J&J Recording, an 8-track studio, and then at the 24-track studio Rawlston Recording. He next moved on to Giant Sound, where he worked on many jingle and record sessions, including Sting’s “Bring on the Night” and Steve Winwood’s “Back in the High Life.” His next stop was Atlantic Records recording facility in NYC, the first multi room studio he worked at that featured an SSL 4000E, a Neve 8108, and a custom Neve 8078 that came from George Martin’s AIR Studios London. At Atlantic he worked with many high-profile artists, producers and engineers including The Bee Gees, Scritti Politti, Roger Troutman, Arif Mardin, Jimmy Douglass, Tony May, Ray Bardani, and Tom Lord Alge. In the later 80s, Claude worked at the famed A&M Recording Studios in Los Angeles, which housed the Producer-Engineer team of Jimmy Iovine and Shelly Yakus. While there he worked with Iovine/Yakus, Cinderella, Patti Smith, David Thoener, Ivan Neville, Bob Rock, and Thom Panunzio. Claude started working as a freelance engineer in the early 1990s. In this capacity he has worked with a very diverse and large group of artists including Little Richard, Fiona Apple, and The Pharcyde. Studios Claude engineered at in Los Angeles include The Village, Westlake Audio, Oceanway (now East West studios), and Sony Music. He also worked at The Hit Factory in New York City. Claude’s past teaching history includes UCLA Extension from 2001 to 2007, where he taught a music mixing class. Claude’s discography can be viewed on allmusic.com by searching for Claude “Swifty” Achille.
Jerome Eadeh is a percussionist and audio engineer born in Grand Rapids Michigan. During his childhood, it was said that Jerome’s style of percussion was “TOO LOUD” according to his parents and the neighbors. Of course, that only encouraged him because from there, Jerome continued with his drumming career performing in various bands, drum and bugle corps, teaching, and eventually into college. He obtained degrees from Western Michigan University and Indiana University, studying mostly classical music, but was soon picked up to include audio engineering to his musical arsenal when he was chosen to join the Production Services department of Indiana University. There, Jerome helped a completely analog production facility to move into the digital realm by introducing digital and non-linear audio and video to the department. After a short five years in Bloomington, he then set his sights on Las Vegas to soon take a career path with the newly formed Las Vegas Clark County Library District, where they were developing theatrical venues to provide live audio recording, performance, editing, and visual production services to the public. Soon after, Jerome became the Technical and Production Services Supervisor, running AV technical staff of as many as fourteen, designing systems, and consulting with various entities throughout Southern Nevada. With his own company, Customized Multimedia Projects, Jerome has performed as a percussionist and/or audio engineer for countless events and has taught audio and music composition to hundreds of students young and old. Currently, Jerome is on staff with the College of Southern Nevada to help bring excellence in audio performance to the students, and to mentor upcoming musicians/audio engineers so they can move the world into new frontiers of audio excellence.
Crystal Erickson comes from a long line of musicians and audio engineers. Her creative experience spans from musical theatre performance and production to post audio for film and radio. Crystal started her audio career in 1995 as a live sound tech where she was given the name “Sound Angel” by fellow musicians. In 1998, she graduated from what was then called “The Los Angeles Recording Workshop” now called “The Los Angeles Film & Recording School.” By 2001, Sound Angel Productions was responsible for launching several independent on-line radio shows for indie artists all over the world, started an internship program, and had the privilege of working with several sports icons, corporate leaders, as well as famous political figures and musicians. She continued to enhance her knowledge by becoming a Certified Pro Tools Operator in 2010 and later obtained her Associates of Science degree in Audio Engineering from Full Sail University in 2011. Crystal discovered a deeper passion for audio when she became an Instructor in 2006. She’s had the honor of teaching at the institution she graduated from, the International Academy of Technology & Design, and currently teaches the beginning ProTools and recording courses at the College of Southern Nevada. With over 20 years of collective experience in the field, Crystal is dedicated to bringing everything she has to the classroom to keep students engaged in the learning process and enjoys sharing her “real world” experience to ensure they’re prepared for the workforce.
Bring it, and I’ll give you everything I have! ~ Crystal Erickson
Ron S. Herbes was raised in Ventura, California, from a family whose father was an Executive and the Director of Facilities at 20th Century Fox Film Corporation. At the age of 18 Ron started working for 20th Century Fox Film Corporation in the Film Editorial department. Ron joined the Motion Picture Editors Guild and started his 6 years of training apprenticeships, eventually working as an Editor of Film/Video, Sound/Audio, Producer and Sound Designer, excelling onto various other positions in and around the studios, spending over 20 years at Universal Studios, Disney, MGM and other major film studios in Hollywood. Ron has worked on hundreds of shows, holding various positions in Editorial, Post-Production, Production as well as a Producer. This includes iconic Television Series such as: “Miami Vice,” “Murder She Wrote,” “Alfred Hitchcock,” “New York Undercover,” and many more, and on Feature Films such as: “Rocky V,” “The Waterboy,” “Predator 2,” “Alien 3,” as well as “Rambo 3” and many more. After moving to Las Vegas, he went back to school to earn a degree in Digital Film and Videotape Production, and is currently enrolled to earn his Masters’s Degree in Business. In 2009 Ron held the position of Program Chair for Cinema & Audio Production at IADT. Ron was then offered a position to start a new Film & Television School as the Campus Director for a major Film College in Las Vegas. Ron is currently teaching as an Instructor for the College of Southern Nevada teaching in the music program. Most recently Ron has teamed up with Dámaris Morales, Vickie Rose Sampson, and an incredible Latin Director Noemi Morales, to form the company “DIAPASON LLC” which just finished producing an incredible new docu-reality show on the world’s music.
IMDB Link: https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0378646/
Nik Hotchkiss is an American multi-media artist and entrepreneur. He is known mainly for his work as a DJ, producer and audio engineer but also has considerable experience as a camera operator and video editor. In 2005, he graduated at the top of his class with a Recording Arts Degree from Full Sail University. In the years following, he went on to earn a Masters of Entertainment Business Degree focusing on commercial recording studio management. After college Nik spent almost 2 years in Nashville, Tennessee, gaining experience working alongside some of the best mixing and mastering engineers in the country. This led to him being recruited as the Lead Engineer for a multi-million-dollar entertainment production facility in Las Vegas. So, on 07-07-2007 Nik said good-bye to Nashville’s “Music Row” and hello to “The Las Vegas Strip.” He is an Associate Member of the Audio Engineering Society and holds several technical certifications relating to audio/video production. Since 2010 Nik has designed and taught courses in audio engineering for multiple national colleges, and is a business owner as well as a sitting Board of Directors member for a non-profit organization providing creative lessons to inner-city high-school students through after school programming. He works full-time as an A1 (Chief Engineer); both in the recording studio as well as “in the field” mixing concerts for some of the largest music venues in Las Vegas. Nik operates out of his own private studio, as well as regularly at some of the most successful studios on the west-coast including Studio DMI, The Hideout, The Studio at the Wynn, The Studio at the Palms, and more. Nik has worked with more than 500 artists since he began recording and mixing.
Kenneth Johnston has been teaching in the Fine Arts Department at CSN since 2014. He is a certified sound engineer with an expert level of experience. After graduating from the Center for the Media Arts, New York, in 1986 he opened his own recording studio. Kenneth brings real life insight into his classroom teachings learned from working in the music industry for over 30 years, with both seasoned veterans and many up-and-coming artists. He has worked on many notable Multi-Platinum projects. His expertise earned him recognition and a special Grammy award from the Recording Academy. He enjoys teaching and helping others develop the skills to become successful in the world of recording. Some projects and artists include: The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, Next, Jaheim, 3LW, Naughty by Nature, Queen Latina, Biggie Smalls, Jay Z and many more.
Josh O’Connor, Music Producer, Live Performer and Music Educator, has taught his vast knowledge of Electronic Music Production here at CSN. This Chicago native’s client list contains a Who’s Who in the music business including Justin Timberlake, Mya, Ciara, Fredro Star (Onyx), Eddie Kramer, Grey Advertising and The Minnesota Vikings just to name a few. Having worked in Sully Erna’s (Godsmack) Serenity Sound studio (Hollywood) allows Josh to relay and teach real life studio situations and techniques to students that prepare them for the real world. Josh has also been trusted by Industry leading software companies (Ableton) to teach Master Classes on their behalf. Josh has personally written the curriculum for multiple courses here at CSN including Urban Music Production (Music 262B) and Computer Music Technology I (Music 160). Josh can also be seen teaching Recording Techniques II (Mus 232) and Virtual Studio Technology I (Mus 239).
Matt Szpyrka started work as a sound engineer in the late 1990s. He began by recording his own music, and then the projects of other bands and musicians. In 2002, Matt went to school to study audio engineering. After completing school, he began an internship at a local recording studio in Las Vegas and within the first year was running his own recording sessions. Within 5 years, Matt was working with some of the greatest musicians in the world. In 2006, he earned the first of many platinum records working on Barry Manilow’s album, The Greatest Songs from The Fifties. In 2008, Matt moved to Nashville with a good friend, who was also the singer of Smashmouth (the band), to record a solo album. While in Nashville, he worked on many projects, and had the honor of learning from great producers and engineers. In 2012, he decided to move back to Las Vegas to get married and start a family, supporting the new family by doing freelance audio work. Today, Matt teaches audio recording at CSN where he finds it to be some of the greatest, most rewarding work he has done. Along with teaching at CSN, he works as a sound engineer for MGM. Matt has two amazing children, and an amazing wife. As a teacher of audio, and audio engineering, the fundamental concepts he teachs are universal; they do not strictly pertain to audio or engineering and are useful concepts regardless of the application. Matt strongly believes the best way to learn these concepts is by experiencing them and because of this, the majority of time spent in his classroom will be hands on, with the gear, experiencing how it works.